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Hosting an industry conference? Ask us about including it in this ticker? Trending Topics for ERISA Plan Sponsors: Week Ending 9/22/17 Trending Topics for ERISA Plan Sponsors: Week Ending 9/22/17
September 25
00:00 2017

Welcome to Trending Topics. Each Monday, we’ll give you a quick synopsis of the major news events and trends impacting ERISA plan sponsors, 401k fiduciaries and those in the business of supporting these fine folks. If you smile when you read these entertaining snippets, well, that’s the idea. If you think we’re missing something important, then please let us know. But, note this well, we avoid press releases masquerading as news stories (even though they might be reported by journalists) as well as mass media pabulum that merely mouths investment myths and mistakes. “When everybody’s a fiduciary…  no one is.”

FiduciaryNews Lead Story:
Ted Talks! The Benna401k Comes Alive,” (, September 19, 2017) The primary reasons for small businesses that you don’t offer 401k plans are cost, complexity, and liability exposure. The traditional 401k plan has a lot of baggage rolled to those areas. It’s complicated. It’s definitely not easy. For local business of 10 to 15 employees that have so many different things they have to deal with, they just aren’t in position to want to have to deal with the baggage with the 401k plan.

Compliance – Pension Problems:
How many times do we have to relive the danger of pensions?
Social Security Could Be Cut 23% In A Decade, Asserts Putnam CEO,” (Financial Advisor, September 18, 2017) His new book plays off the dire report from this past summer.
U.S. Pensions Stuck In The Red Despite Stock Market Boom,” (Financial Advisor, September 15, 2017) It’s not just Social Security that’s having the problem.
PBGC Asking to Seek More Information From DB Plans on Form 5500,” (PLANADVISER, September 19, 2017) The government wants to know just how much in the red your plan is.

Fiduciary – Is Dino De Laurentiis Writing These Laws?:
The states, emboldened by the memories of a 150-year old war, have decided to make their own decisions on fiduciary. Will this result in am entangled array of spaghetti codes and regulations?
State Fiduciary Rules Create a Regulatory ‘Mess’,” (ThinkAdvisor, September 21, 2017) Since state-by-state rules work so well in the health insurance industry, why don’t we try it for financial services?

Fees – Crickets…:

Investments – Stocks vs. Bonds:
It’s an age-old battle between the tortoise and the hare. Only, in this case, the hare doesn’t mess around. Usually.
Fixed Income Sees Most of DC Trade Inflow for August,” (PLANADVISER, September 15, 2017) What an odd thing.
Callan DC Index Shows Strongest Yearly Gains Since 2006,” (PLANADVISER, September 18, 2017) Which is why that first item is so odd.

Major Plan Sponsor Moves and News:
What are other plan sponsors and fiduciaries doing with their plans? And how are participants responding? The latest in legal proceedings involving plan sponsors and fiduciaries.
How to Measure 401k Financial Wellness Success,” (The 401(k) Specialist, September, 14, 2017)
The Right Course: What Can 403(b) Plan Sponsors Learn from Litigation?” (PLANADVISER, September 18, 2017)
Why emphasize 401k financial wellness?” (Employee Benefit Adviser, September 19, 2017)
DB Plan Sponsors Taking Actions to Avoid Increased PBGC Premiums,” (PLANADVISER, September 19, 2017)
DST Systems and Ruane Advisory Named in ERISA Suit,” (PLANADVISER, September 19, 2017)
Has Benna-lightning struck again? – Carosa,” (BenefitsPRO, September 20, 2017)
Gucci Retirement Plan Sued for Charging Excessive Investment Fees,” (PLANADVISER, September 20, 2017)
Employer Offerings, Participant Usage of Company Stock in 401k Plans Declining,” (PLANADVISER, September 20, 2017)
5 401k benefit myths debunked,” (BenefitsPRO, September 21, 2017)

Trends and Truths for Retirement Savers:
If you’re a retirement plan fiduciary – whether a plan sponsor or a financial professional, don’t you think it’s a good idea to keep up on the topics retirement savers are most interested in? That’s what the media tries to do. Here’s what they think is on the mind of the people saving for retirement.
New military retirement lump sum payout option: What you need to know,” (Fox Business, September 17, 2017)
What retirees should do in wake of Equifax data breach,” (MarketWatch, September 19, 2017)
Retirement Planning: Health and Money Disappoint Retirees,” (Money, September 19, 2017)
Another money worry for your retirement: Kids,” (CBS News, September 19, 2017)
Is an annuity a good deal?” (CNN, September 20, 2017)
Roth IRAs Are A Good Choice For Kids, Say Advisors,” (Financial Advisor, September 20, 2017)

Wisdom from Some of Our Favorite Blogs:
The Rosenbaum Law Firm P.C. Blog: The Trump threat to 401k and the reality of it |
The Rosenbaum Law Firm P.C. Blog: Stating The Obvious On Fees |
Fred Reish: Interesting Angles on the DOL’s Fiduciary Rule #62 |
fi360: Answering Your Questions on Fees, Services, and a Prudent Process for IRA Rollovers |
Squared Away Blog: The 411 on Roth vs Regular 401k plans |

Hot Tips from Popular Web Resources:
NAPA Net: Participant Trading Perked Up in August |
NAPA Net: Are You Cashing in on Cash Balance? |
NAPA Net: Participants Prevail in Deferred Diversification ESOP Suit |
NAPA Net: Does a Large Retiree Population Affect Investment Returns? |
Kiplinger: Be More Like Warren Buffett, Less Like You, When Investing |
The Motley Fool: 4 Ways to Pay for Healthcare When You Retire |
NAPA Net: Report: Robo-Advisors Fall Short of ‘Prudent Investor Standard’ |
NAPA Net: Checks & Balances |
NAPA Net: A Boost for the 401k Limit? |
NAPA Net: Employee Engagement a Better Financial Wellness Metric, Study Says |
The Motley Fool: How to Truly Max Out Your Retirement Savings |
Kiplinger: Don’t Make These 3 Pro Athlete Retirement Mistakes |
NAPA Net: Gucci Gulp? Another Excessive Fee Suit Filed |
NAPA Net: Case of the Week: Waiver of 60-Day Rollover Time Limit |
NAPA Net: ESG and Fiduciary Responsibility: Complementary or at Odds? |
NAPA Net: Children Pose Moderate Risk to Parents’ Retirement Readiness |
The Motley Fool: Retired Too Early? Here’s What to Do | Your 3-Step Social Security Emergency Plan |
NAPA Net: What Happens in Vegas… |
NAPA Net: Portfolio Managers Believe Passive Strategies Here for Foreseeable Future |
Kiplinger: 6 Hidden Benefits of Consulting in Retirement |
NAPA Net: Good Plan Design Can Help Women Achieve Secure Retirement |

Miss anything? Feel free to add a comment below.

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Christopher Carosa, CTFA

Christopher Carosa, CTFA

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